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Administrative Law Court
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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Bruce F. Meadows, B&B Liquors, Inc. vs. SCDOR

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Bruce F. Meadows, B&B Liquors, Inc.

South Carolina Department of Revenue

Bruce F. Meadows, Pro Se

Arlene Dolores Hand, Esquire, for Respondent




This matter is before the Administrative Law Judge Division pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-1-55 (Supp. 1995) and 12-60-1330 (Supp. 1996) on the application of Bruce F. Meadows and B & B Liquors for a retail liquor license for location at 1484 G Hwy 17 North, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. After notice to the parties, a hearing was conducted on April 15, 1997. Based upon the evidence presented, the application is granted.


Based upon the evidence presented, I make the following findings of fact taking into consideration the burden on the parties to establish their respective cases by a preponderance of the evidence and taking into account the credibility of the witnesses:

  1. The applicant, Bruce Franklin Meadows, was born on January 3, 1951, and is a legal resident of the United States.
  2. Meadows has been a resident of South Carolina for the past eight years.
  3. Meadows has never been convicted of a crime and is a person of good moral character.
  4. B & B Liquors, Inc., is a South Carolina corporation in which Bruce Meadows is the sole shareholder. The name "B & B Liquors, Inc." was derived from the names of "Bruce" and "Beverly".
  5. The location at 1485G U.S. Highway 17N in Mt. Pleasant has been licensed in the past as a retail liquor store. Mr. Meadows purchased the business in October 1996, and was issued a temporary liquor license by the Department.
  6. Neither Mr. Meadows nor B&B Liquor, Inc., has previously held a license to sell any type of alcoholic beverages.
  7. No citations or violations have been issued relating to the sale of alcoholic beverages.
  8. The proposed liquor store is located in the Wando Crossing shopping center in Mt. Pleasant. It is not near any church, school or playground.
  9. The hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
  10. Mr. Meadows intends to operate the business himself. William Jenkins will assist him in the operation and management of the retail liquor store.
  11. Mr. Jenkins is over the age 21 and has not been convicted of any crimes.
  12. The applicant obtained the appropriate bond as required.
  13. Notice of the application has been posted at the location for the time period required.
  14. Notice of the application was published in the Charleston News and Courier for three consecutive weeks.
  15. The advertisement was listed in the name of B&B Liquors, Inc.
  16. The application was protested by two individuals. Maxey Clyde Burris, Jr. protested the application on the basis that his son (Clyde Joseph Burris, Sr.) was continuing to operate in the liquor business under the name C. Joseph Burris or Burris Liquors. He also objected on the basis that C. Joseph Burris or Clyde Joseph Burris, Sr. was employed at or operating the store after being convicted of a felony.
  17. Mr. John Morrill protested the application on his belief that C. Joseph Burris was involved in the operation of the business after being convicted of a felony.
  18. Mr. Morrill also protested the application on the basis that the newspaper advertisement did not list the individual applying for the application on behalf of B&B Liquors, Inc.
  19. Both protestors believed that the corporate name "B&B Liquors, Inc." denoted involvement by Clyde Joseph Burris and was an attempt to circumvent the law because of Burris' felony conviction.
  20. Clyde Joseph Burris, Sr. previously owned and operated the location as a retail liquor store. His license expired in 1996.
  21. In addition, Mr. Burris has been convicted of the federal offense of tax evasion, and an Administrative Law Judge determined that Burris was not of suitable moral character and good repute to be issued a retail liquor license. South Carolina Dept. of Revenue & Taxation v. Clyde J. Burris, Sr., d/b/a C. Joseph Burris Liquors, No. 96-ALJ-17-0201-CC (S.C. ALJD July 29, 1996).
  22. Mr. Meadows purchased the business from Mr. Burris in October 1996. As part of the agreement, with the approval of the Department of Revenue, Mr. Burris continued to work in the business for one month until November 1996 to assist Mr. Meadows. Burris acted as a consultant, providing information on how and when to purchase liquors and operating the business.
  23. After November 1996, Mr. Burris was no longer employed or working with the business.
  24. Mr. Burris is not a shareholder, officer, or director of the corporation. He has no financial interest other than a security interest in the inventory of the business which serves as collateral for the purchase.
  25. The property is not currently leased or subleased by Mr. Burris. The lease agreement dated March 19, 1997, is between Developers Diversified Realty Corp., Bruce Meadows, and B&B Liquors, Inc. Developers Diversified accepted Meadows and B & B Liquors as assignees of the lease that was originally between Developers Diversified and C. Joseph Burris, Sr.
  26. Maxey Clyde Burris was protesting the application on his belief that C. Joseph Burris was involved in the location and also because of the sign which listed C. Joseph Burris Liquors. Mr. Maxey Burris wanted to ensure that his name and reputation would not be listed, used or involved in the coin operation of the business.
  27. The sign has been removed from in front of the business. As long as C. Joseph Burris, Sr., (or Clyde Joseph Burris, Sr.) is not involved in Burris Liquors or C. Joseph Burris Liquors, Inc., and the name "Burris" is not contained anywhere within the description or advertisement of B&B Liquors, John Meadows or Bruce Meadows, then Maxey Clyde Burris is willing to withdraw his protest.
  28. The application packet provided by the Department to persons applying for beer, wine or alcoholic liquors permit contains a sample advertisement. It does not require that both the name of the individual and the corporation be published in the advertisement. In the space allotted for the applicant on the sample advertisement, the directions specify "name of individual, partners and/or corporation."


Based upon the Findings of Fact, I conclude as a matter of law the following:

  1. The Administrative Law Judge is vested with the powers, duties and responsibilities exercised by the former Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and hearing officers pursuant to Chapter 23 of Title 1. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-1-55 (Supp. 1995).
  2. The sole and exclusive power to grant a retail liquor license in a contested and protested matter is with the administrative law judge. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-410 (Supp. 1995).
  3. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-420 (Supp. 1995) lists the criteria for determining when a person who will have actual control and management of the proposed business is ineligible for a retail liquor license. Based upon the criteria cited in the statute, Meadows is eligible for the issuance of the license.
  4. In addition, no new licenses may be granted if the place of business is within certain distances of any church, school or playground. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-440 (Supp. 1995). The proposed location is not within proximity to any of these structures.
  5. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 61-3-460 and 61-3-461 (Supp. 1995) limit the number of retail liquor licenses a person may hold or have an interest in to three. The applicant does not currently hold or have an interest in any other retail liquor licenses.
  6. No retail liquor license may be granted to a person who owes state or federal delinquent taxes, penalties or interest. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-425 (Supp. 1995). The applicant does not have any outstanding tax liability.
  7. S.C. Code Ann. § 61-3-490(A) (Supp. 1995) provides that "[e]very person intending to apply for a [retail liquor] license . . . shall advertise at least once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper most likely to give notice to interested citizens of the county, city, or community in which the applicant proposes to engage in business . . . .The notice must . . . state the type of license applied for and the exact location at which the proposed business is to be operated . . . ."
  8. The newspaper advertisement specified the exact location of the proposed business and the type of license sought as required.
  9. The applicants, Bruce Meadows and B & B Liquors, Inc., meet all the statutory requirements for the issuance of a retail liquor license.


Based upon the foregoing Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, it is hereby

ORDERED, that the Department of Revenue shall issue a retail liquor license to Bruce F. Meadows and B & B Liquors, Inc. located at 1485 G Highway 17 N in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina upon the payment of the appropriate fees.



Administrative Law Judge

May 30, 1997

Columbia, South Carolina

Brown Bldg.






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